ForcesWatch comment

Tell the Education Committee what the purpose of education should be!

Take part in the Education Committee's 'purpose and quality of education' in England inquiry!

The inquiry is important: it's looking at the fundamental question of 'what should the purpose of education for children of all ages in England be?' Click here for more information.

This is obviously very relevant to our work at ForcesWatch; we believe education must equip students with an ability to think critically, to help them make informed decisions about issues and institutions (such as war and the military), and engage in relevant debates. Subjects and activities that develop critical thinking skills need more attention and resources.

If you can spare a minute or two, tell the Education Committee what you think, using this simple form, or by tweeting @CommonsEd using the hashtag #edupurpose.

Some things you might find useful to look at before making your submission:

- the Education Committee's 30-second film encouraging submissions, which is made up of short interviews with members of the public. One young woman's contribution is right up our street: 'To be more critical about the world around you and have more informed decisions on your choices and what you want to do'.

- 5-minute film 'The Unseen March', which summarises the military's growing influence in the education system, via interviews with educationalists, a former soldier and a former government minister; includes a discussion of what education is for.

- our critical response to the government's politicised and pedagogically-poor 'British Armed Forces Learning Resource 2014'. The 'learning resource' was promoted to all schools by the Department for Education. Our response quotes the concerns of several prominent educationalists.

- our report on the government's failure to implement a UN recommendation to make peace education part of the school curriculum (instead they've increased the military's influence in schools)

- this short article on the need for critical thinking teaching in schools (US focus, but the same key points apply to the UK education system) 

- Guardian article giving some good examples of how teachers in the UK encouraged critical thinking among their students regarding the November 2015 Paris attacks

- the Education Select Committee's own criticism of the Department for Education over shortcomings in Personal Social & Health Education (PSHE)

- this Citizenship Foundation article questioning the obligation on schools to teach 'British Values'.

- quotes from Nelson Mandela on how education can help people change the world for the better. 

- lastly, Innovation Unit - 'the leading innovation partner for public services' - passionately outline the need for an education that addresses the pressing problems facing humanity.

The deadline for submissions is midday Monday 25 January.


Thanks, and best wishes,

the ForcesWatch team.


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